You tune in to the prime time news and often wish it would be void of the clutter and focus on what is absolutely important, the kind of stories that deserve a voice. Millennials are increasingly inclining away from television and opting for digital mediums to get their daily dose of what’s making news. But why is there this divide between what the viewer is looking for versus the kind of news that is making it to the screens? We speak to millennials who tell us the kind of news they would like to see more of and why.
How do millennials consume their news?
Viewing patterns are very different from what they were in previous generations. Today millennials are focused on what they want from the media and will not stop until they get exactly that. With a rise in sensational news and hyped stories, there is an increasing feeling of discontent among them. Dumbing down and cluttered news is what the young generation wants to stray away from. Instead, they want there to be a focus on the issues at hand and have them addressed. While the generation does have an appetite for news, the preference of how this is served to them differs widely.
In recent years, social media has taken over television and radio and the traditional newspaper. But millennials still feel that this while more realistic, does not solve the problem. The crisis, they feel, is a lack of relevant news.
Why are explainers of trending topics needed?
Joyal Lobo, says that for him the most important purpose that news serves is to not only inform, but do so in detail. “Indian media believes in every story having some spice, or they think it won’t be attractive to the reader. But, what they fail to realize is that every story is not meant for the purpose of entertainment.” He points to the case of the Aarey Forest controversy.
“There are several NGOs, communities, etc that run the beach cleaning campaign, awareness around climate change, etc. But unfortunately, their work goes unnoticed. A small piece of news about them could definitely do well.” - Joyal Lobo
“There was barely any news about what finally came out of the protests, or what turn they took. It is not up to the reader to delve deep into a news piece and Google to find out what came out of it. I want for news to be simpler, and to the point.”
Just like the sports and the entertainment section, he says publishers need to have a section dedicated to climate change, environment-related problems such as the declining air quality etc. “There are independent journalists who are doing this, but big media organisations need to step up to keep the 1.4 Billion people updated on the issue before it’s too late.”
Why is news these days filled with drama?
For Aastha Gupta, the most important element of news is its ability to be free of drama, gossip and unnecessary fluff. “The news I wish to see more of is that which is factual and verifiable. What doesn't interest me is news that is presented in the form of rumours, gossip, propaganda or personal views. News can be subjective and everyone is bound to have their own point of view but the job of a good media channel should be to present just facts and not anyone's opinion regarding it.”
Aastha finds it unnecessary when channels go out of their way to cover celebrity weddings or details about their parties. “In such scenarios, the credibility of news channels becomes questionable.”
Is more focus needed on environmental issues?
As climate change and global warming have started showing drastic effects in daily life and countries around the world are preparing to tackle this crisis, Ritambra Khajuria wishes the news would focus more on these burning issues that directly impact us. “I personally would like to see more news related to climate change and green technology that is making our day to day life better. The environment should be kept in focus for news stories as this is what is the need of the hour.”
She thinks climate change often gets sidetracked because of other issues and it is time to step up and be more informed of what is happening in the world due to exploitation of resources, extinction of animals and other ecology-related issues.
Ritambra is of the opinion that media these days needs to lay an emphasis on the issues that we can work on and do something about instead of mindless chatter that does not help society grow or progress.